Saturday, May 3, 2014

How to Make a Book Trailer in 7 Easy Steps

Book trailers are all the rage.  So my kids tell me. 

And they must know, since they spend a lot of time on YouTube.  That’s where they saw the trailers for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, books 1 through 8.  Ditto Big Nate and all the Harry Potter books (yes, the books!). They loved the trailers so much that they promptly hit me up for the books they didn’t already have. 

Thanks to my kids, I am now expanding my digital media and marketing horizons.  If book trailers can get them to read, why not try my hand at making a book trailer of my own?

Remember, I grew up before the internet age.  Back when TV’s still had vacuum tubes, and phones came with cords and rotary dials.  This whole computer thing still baffles me.  But I’m always up for a challenge. 

It took me a few sleepless nights, but I finally managed to put together a book trailer for my contemporary romance, This Time for Keeps.  Along the way, I kept notes.  The result is a handy-dandy “how to” guide for creating your very own low budget book trailer.  Believe me, if I can do it, anybody can!

Here it is, how to make your book trailer in 7 easy steps: 

1. Watch a bunch of book trailers, particularly in your genre, to get a sense of what’s out there.  You can find examples on YouTube or BookTrailers.

2. Select images or video clips.  Make sure you have appropriate permission to use them, to avoid copyright infringement.  If possible, use your original work (with appropriate releases if you photograph models, or property which does not belong to you—including public landmarks, works of art, etc.). Alternatively, you can search online for royalty-free images and video clips that are available for download either free or for a small fee.  Some of the more popular sites include:

3. Write a script.  This can be as easy as using a short blurb that you already have for your book, or teasers from the book itself, or quotes from reviews, or any combination of the above.

4. Familiarize yourself with a movie making/editing program.  There are many user-friendly ones available, such as:  
  • Windows Live Movie Maker (if you have a PC, you likely already have this program on your computer)
  • Prezi 
  • Animoto 
  • Photo story

5. Import your photos/videos into the program.  Add your text.

6. Add a soundtrack.  Again, make sure you have permission to use the material you choose.  Here are some online sites which offer royalty-free sound clips:

7. Upload your video to a distribution channel such as YouTube or BookTrailers.

And that's it--you're done!!!